Ipswich Town 1-0 Doncaster Rovers - Half-Time
Saturday, 27th Feb 2021 16:01
Alan Judge’s fantastic 25-yard free-kick has given Town a 1-0 lead over Doncaster Rovers at Portman Road at half-time.
Town named the same side for the third successive game as they looked to build on Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Hull City.
Tomas Holy was again in goal with the back four, from the right, skipper Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, James Wilson and Myles Kenlock.
Andre Dozzell and Teddy Bishop were at the centre of the midfield with Judge on the left and Keanan Bennetts on the right, while Troy Parrott was behind lone out-and-out striker James Norwood.
Flynn Downes was back on the bench following his two-match ban with Luke Matheson dropping out of the 18.
Town assistant manager Stuart Taylor was again not in the dugout, as has been the case for the last two games, and announced earlier today that his father had died. The Blues players wore black armbands in tribute.
Doncaster made two changes from their last game, coincidentally also against Hull, a 3-3 home draw a week ago, with Fejiri Okenabirhie and John Bostock coming into the XI and Jon Taylor and Madger Gomes dropping to the bench.
Prior to kick-off both teams, again with the exception of Nsiala as has been the case for the last two matches, took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter.
Doncaster saw most of the ball early on but in their own half of the field. The Blues made a break forward in the fifth minute through Bennetts, who fed Dozzell bursting towards the area but the former England U20 international was let down by his touch and the ball was cleared against him and over the bar.
A loose Judge pass was played to the feet of Omar Bogle on the right of the Town area in the seventh minute. The Blues forced the ball away from the striker but eventually it fell to Okenabirhie, who hit a low shot across the face of goal which Holy watched past his post.
Rovers continued to dominate possession with Town not able to get their passing going, although while presenting a potential threat on the counter-attack. On 17 Parrott mis-hit a bouncing ball which had fallen to him fortuitously 25 yards out well wide.
Two minutes later, Bennetts curled a shot into Ellery Balcombe’s arms after the Doncaster keeper had punched a corner to the edge of the box.
In the 23rd minute, Nsiala headed a Judge free-kick from the right back across the box, off a defender and wide. Referee Martin Coy adjudged Norwood to have committed a foul, much to the annoyance of the frontman.
Despite having had only a small share of the ball - the possession percentage stats at this stage were 72-28 in the visitors’ favour - the Blues had looked the more dangerous side and in the 27th minute they went ahead.
Bishop was brought down by Taylor Richards 25 yards out towards the left and Judge curled a brilliant free-kick past Balcombe to his left and into the corner of the net. It was the Irishman’s third goal of the season and probably the best of his Town career.
Having got their noses in front, the Blues began to put Rovers under pressure as they looked for a second.
Just after the half hour, Kenlock cut the ball back from the left towards Judge, who looked set to score his second of the game until Rovers skipper Tom Anderson dived in to block and divert his effort at goal over.
But the visitors quickly began to press Town at the other end, John Bostock hitting a shot into Holy’s arms in the 34th minute, then two minutes later, the Blues keeper reacted quickly to save from Richards before Nsiala blocked from Josh Sims. Moments later, Bogle shot wide.
Sims tried his luck again on 40 from just outside the Town area but failed to trouble Holy then two minutes later, after Bennetts had lost possession in a promising position on the right of the Rovers box, Reece James worked his way into the left of the Town area but hit a weak effort with the side of his foot which again failed to trouble Holy.
Just before the half was brought to an end by referee Coy’s whistle, Holy was quickly off his line to claim a ball just in front of Richards.
In many ways much of the half was a mirror image of many of Town’s matches this season. Doncaster had dominated possession without showing too much purpose early on, but it was the Blues who took the lead and had created more of the chances at that stage having looked a danger on the counter-attack.
Judge, having scored his superb free-kick, might have made it 2-0 before the visitors began to threaten more in the latter stages, although with most of their efforts hit from distance and Holy not troubled.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock, Dozzell, Bishop, Bennetts, Judge, Parrott, Norwood. Subs: Cornell, Ward, Downes, Harrop, Edwards, Sears, Drinan.
Doncaster: Balcombe, Halliday, James, Anderson (c), Wright, Bogle, Okenabirhie, Smith, Bostock, Richards, Sims. Subs: Jones, Gomes, Robertson, Lokilo, Taylor, John, Coppinger. Referee: Martin Coy (Durham).
Photo: Matchday Images
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